News Staff Contact

Laboratory 6. Inorganic Polymers
Head of laboratory: Dr. Maria CAZACU
Description Research Groups Publications Projects Infrastructure
Project: Innovative nanotechnologies based on polymer for obtaining new advanced materials

Project: PNIII-40PCCDI
Acronym: NAPOLI  19
Responsible partner (ICMPP): Dr. Valeria Harabagiu
Duration: 2018-2020
Buget: 735000 Lei

The project is aimed at using the expertise that involved in consortium entities acquired in materials science. The consortium consists of three representative national institutes: INCD for Chemistry and Petrochemistry – ICECHIM Bucharest, INCD for Electrochemistry and Condensed Matter - INCEMC Timisoara and INCD of Chemical Pharmaceutical - ICCF Bucharest, and of two prestigious universities: University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest and the University of Bucharest and a remarkable institute of Romanian Academy: Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry – Petru Poni Iasi. Although having great tradition and noteworthy results, the first five institutions face a series of problems, from the lack of financial funds, equipment and the aging employees for ICCF and partly for INCEMC and ICECHIM, to the lack of highly qualified staff required for recent investments in equipment for all 5 institutions. In this respect, the project attempts relaunching the activity in the first 5 institutions of the consortium, by putting together the existing competencies, so as to develop new technologies in order to obtain new materials with high performance properties. Given that, 3 of the research teams are specialized in polymers (ICECHIM, Petru Poni and UPB) the developed technologies will use the polymers as intermediates or as a component in the finished product. To this end it is envisaged getting the titanium nitride for prosthetic coatings via inorganic-organic polymer nanocomposites, obtaining photocatalytic materials and antibacterial coatings by sol- gel reactions, obtaining of short-life or one-time use biomaterials from aliphatic polyesters and micro or nanocellulose and the development of new polyphase materials with medium or long life, based on biopolymers, through 3D printing. The project intends the full use of A1, A2, B and C checks in order to increase the institutional performance of partners.

Project: The engine of the hydrogen-based energy revolution. Fuel cells, on the road from research to production by minimizing technological barriers

Project: PN-III-25 PCCDI/2018
Acronym: ROFCC
Responsible partner (ICMPP): Dr. Valeria Harabagiu
Duration: 2018-2020
Buget: 709582 Lei

Fuel cell is unanimously considered the core of the hydrogen –based energy revolution. It promises to impact environmental and economic issues facing the world every day. Modern lifestyles, high prices for diminishing supplies of fossil fuels, and the environmental impact of energy production have all made alternative power generation technology like fuel cells a necessity. The proposed project is looking to find bridges between several scientific disciplines in order to reduce the main technological barriers which hinder the commercialization of PEM fuel cell at large scale.
Electrochemical energy conversion involves complex developments of materials: due to the close link between electricity flow and corrosion processes, morphological changes, building of resistive layers and exhaustion of catalytically active components, material development for enhanced lifetimes becomes the major challenge in fuel cell basic research and development. At the same time, the topics of low-cost materials and processing have to be additionally tackled in order to achieve acceptable market costs. Advances in the development of new catalysts, new bipolar plates, enhanced solid electrolyte are only few of the foreseen development within the project, based on joining the existing capabilities proved in other topics by the partners. The proposal covers entire range of research from applicative industrial research focused onto optimization materials/processes until experimental development for testing and validation of the production technology including a comprehensive cost analysis on life time.
By connecting the capabilities of several research partners in complementary topics, from physics, chemistry (especially electrochemistry but not only), mechanics, processes automation, etc. the project will bring the fuel cell development technology close to the market and ready to fulfill the requirements of the new hydrogen based chain energy system.

Project: Emerging 2D materials based on two-dimensional permethylated metal-organic networks

Project: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-2000
Acronym: 2D-PerMONSil
Project Manager: Dr. Maria Cazacu
Duration: 2021-2023
Buget: 1200000 Lei

After the discovery of graphene with the set of properties that essentially distinguish it from other allotropes of carbon, ultra-thin layered materials, classified as 2D nanomaterials, enjoy a growing interest due to their unique properties. In this context, very recently become of interest 2D MOFs. But in the crystallization process, 2D layers stack on the basis of intermolecular interactions, leading to higher dimensional materials. To manifest behavioral particularities specific to a 2D material, they must be isolated individually or in multilayers with thickness/surface aspect ratio as small, which is a challenge that seek solutions through different approaches (top-down or bottom-up). The project idea is to design and synthesize two-dimensional metal-organic networks with extremely weak intermolecular interactions, which facilitate delamination in nanosheets. The originality and the key to success in this approach is the use of ligands containing permethylated silicon units which by their natural exposure shield the structure and prevent the establishment of noticeable interactions. New ligands and combinations thereof will be prepared and used to coordinate various metal ions or clusters. Nanosheets formed will be evaluated as such, but also the effect of their incorporation in silicone matrices for the development of materials responsive to stimuli. Their common nature creates the premises for a better compatibility and forming advanced composites.

Project: Soft electromechanical transducers based on 3D printed silicones

Project: PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2019-3652
Project Manager: Dr. Maria Cazacu

Acronym: 3DETSi
Duration: 2020-2022
Buget: 600000 Lei

The project aims at developing a 3D silicone printing technology for electromechanical stretchable and flexible displacement sensors/actuators to eliminate the disadvantages of the classic production processes of these devices, ensuring real time production of complex geometries with high accuracy (and reversible configuration of DETs), involving the formulation and optimization of silicone materials both for dielectric and electrode suitable for 3D printing of DET, the construction of the printer and the development of adaptable software for the production of DETs with different degrees of complexity. Immediate applications of the printed DETs aimed at civil engineering as sensors for monitoring the tension in the structural elements, as dampers for attenuating the seismic movement in buildings, bridges and foundations but also in the field of material testing (determining the Poisson ratio in soil samples). Thus, in the project, the silicone to be injected will be optimized, the 3D silicone printer will be built and optimized to produce electromechanical transducers (actuators and sensors).

Project: Sustainable biochemical method for air revitalisation in spacecrafts

Project:  STAR-157/2017
Acronym: BIO-MARS
Responsible partner (ICMPP): Dr. Maria Ignat
Duration: 2017-2019
Buget: 250000 Lei

BIO-MARS aims to provide a sustainable solution for air pollution control in spacecraft cabins. A multi-functional microalgae-based biotechnology is proposed to be tailored in this sense. This supposes the removal of relevant indoor gaseous pollutants at cost-effective performance. An integrative approach of the unitary processes is considered in the frame of this project. Launching a new research direction at national level financed by Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), this project intends to bring the Romanian contribution to the international programs dedicated to space exploration and the development of space applications, such as those related to Technology & Science Support of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Coordinating institution: ”Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iasi.
Partner institution: “Petru Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry Iasi, Romanian Academy.

Project: Dynamic Dual Mode Materials for Human Thermal Comfort

Project: PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2019-1885
Project Manager: Dr. George Theodor Stiubianu
Duration: 2020-2022
Buget: 614836 Lei

The DYMATCO project aims to develop, through a cost-affordable approach, a laboratory technology for wearable clothing-integrated materials with passive dual-mode thermal comfort (heating and cooling). The newly developed materials will have user-controlled adaptability for integrated management of the heat flux between the body of the user and the environment. These materials use the synergistic effects of elastomers and nanometer-sized metallic structures integrated within clothing made of usual textile materials (such as cotton, polyester, etc). 

Project: Metal-organic networks with finely controlled hydrophobicity using silicone chemistry

Project: PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2016-0642
Acronym: SilMOFs
Project Manager: Dr. Maria Cazacu
Duration: 2017-2019
Buget: 850000 Lei

The project is devoted to design, synthesis and structural characterization of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with controlled hydrophobicity required for certain applications such as gas storage, drug delivery systems, self-compatibilizing fillers for special energy composites, supercapacitors, etc. Different from the approaches reported in literature consisting in attaching hydrophobic groups near coordination sites, or post-synthetic grafting of such groups onto linkers, here will be used mainly ligands with siloxane spacers having attached to the silicon atoms one of the highest hydrophobic group, methyl, but also some derivatives inserting more longer (octyl), more rigid (phenyl, diphenyl), more polar (chloropropyl) or more hydrophobe (trifluoropropyl) groups in order to fine tune moisture stability of the resulted MOFs but also their lipophilicity and crystallinity. The high flexibility of the siloxane backbone allows the organic groups to be arranged and presented to their best effect. In addition, metals in high oxidation state will be used. The key steps in achieving the project objectives consist in engineering the spacer by using new approaches in silicones chemistry (i.e., Piers-Rubinsztajn reaction), attaching coordination groups (by thiol-ene addition or nucleophilic substitution), construction of MOFs and their isolation in a form accessible to characterize accurately. Thus original polydentate ligands mainly consisting in polycarboxylic acids and N-donor heterocycles with controlled diorganosiloxane or silane spacers will be obtained and used to built MOFs. The rare examples of assembling using the flexible linker, apart from those published by the authors of this proposal, and limited investigation in the field opens the innovative perspective for new knowledge and unique properties of MOFs.

Project: Mimicking living matter mechanisms by five-dimensional chemistry approaches

Project: PN-III-P4-ID PCCF-2016-0050
Acronym: 5D-nanoP
Responsible partner (ICMPP – P4): Dr. Maria Cazacu
Duration: 2018-2022
Buget: 945,000 Lei

The 5D-nanoP project aims to interface the fundamental scientific field of constitutional dynamic chemistry with the practical approaches of medical chemistry and biomedical applications. In the spirit of the metaphor launched by Jean-Marie Lehn (Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1987), the project proposes to materialize the concept of  5D chemistry by designing, synthesizing, characterizing and using molecules with conditioned affinity, for the development of supramolecular nanoplatforms, useful as pharmacological and genetic vectors implicated in physiological or pathological processes at the cellular and tissue level.

Project: Eco-innovative technologies for recovering the platinum metal group from used catalytic converters

Project: PN-III-76PCCDI/2018
Responsible partner (ICMPP): Dr. Maria Cazacu
Duration: 2018-2020
Buget: 800000 Lei

Autocatalysts are used to convert vehicle exhaust (carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, etc.) into less harmful products, such as: carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Platinum group metals (PGMs) are the active component in autocatalysts and consequently the auto industry is the largest PGM consumer. Limited PGM resources demands recycling to support an expanding auto market. Traditional recycling methods are using high temperatures and highly oxidative agents (e.g. aqua regia) making them large energy consumers and environmental pollutants. As a result, there is a need to develop alternative ways to recycle PGMs with a significant decrease in energy consumption and a reduced impact on the environment. ECOTECH-GMP project at hand draws from the knowledge, skills and competences of top leading Romanian research institutions in materials science, physics, chemistry and engineering for creating the know-how to develop the eco-technologies required to recycle PGM with zero emissions. There is currently no such technology available in the world. Four sub-projects are proposed to solve the issue of PGM eco-recycling, encompassing electrochemistry, coordination chemistry, hydrodynamics and bioelectrochemistry. The sub-projects are intertwined and function in synergy to deliver several solutions to the issue at hand. The potential of this project is mesmerizing for any interested company: small initial capital, low energy consumption and high throughput. The benefits for the society at large are thrilling: improved public health because of decreased toxic pollutants (chlorides, nitrates, nitrides, etc.) and creating new jobs owing to the potential of this technology to transform into an industry.

Project: Multi-stimuli responsive silicone composites for switchable dual-function transducers

Project: PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2019-0649
Project Manager: Dr. Codrin Tugui

Acronym: SwitchACT
Duration: 2020-2022
Buget: 246.950 Lei

Considering the results and experience obtained in the field of dielectric elastomers (DE) as well as from the current state of research in this area of great interest, in the present project it is proposed to extent the applicability of these materials through an original approach. The project aims to develop dielectric elastomers with multiple functionalities, designed to be used as active elements in switchable transducers (actuator/sensor). The originality of the proposed solution consists in combining the excellent properties of silicone elastomers with those of spin crossover complexes (SCO) and exploiting the synergy between them. SCO materials will be physically incorporated into the silicone matrices without the use of solvents. Presently, there are no reported materials based on this combination in the literature, but the preliminary results are very promising and support the approach taken in this project. The SCO materials will have a dual function when incorporated into the silicone matrix: enhancing the dielectric permittivity and turning the composite material into a multi-stimuli responsive one, for temperature, light, pH and magnetic field. These materials could represent the basis of a new generation of transducers, offering technological compatibility for a wide range of applications such as: stretchable sensors, flexible electronics, robotics, energy harvesting, medical devices and environmental monitoring.


Project: New scaffolds for extension of structure-activity relationship studies of metal-based anticancer drugs

Project: PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2016-1027
Acronym: METDRUG
Project Manager : Dr. Mirela Zaltariov
Duration: 2018-2020
Buget: 250000 Lei

The present proposal is concerned with the development of new metal complexes based on a library of specifically modified indolo[2,3-c]quinolines and new indolo[3,2-d]benzazepines to be evaluated as anticancer drugs.
We propose to extend our studies on structure-activity relationships on these frameworks and to elucidate the effects of location of the lactam group in azepine ring, and orientation of indole basic unit with respect to quinolone-2-(1H)-one entity. The rationale behind our proposal is to design new metal complexes which can allow their application at very low doses due to the highly cytotoxicity, at nanomolar concentrations. Thus the enormous potential impact of these new classes of metal-based drugs relies in their possible site-specific delivery in localized tumors, strongly improving their cellular uptake and minimizing unwanted side-effects, which could offer a significant advantage over platinum-based chemotherapeutics.

Project: Green silicone-based interpenetrated polymeric “spider webs” engineered for wave energy harvesting

Project: PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2019-0148
Project Manager: Dr. Adrian Bele

Acronym: SilWebWEH
Duration: 2020-2022
Buget: 184450 Lei


Renewable technologies began to develop rapidly after the 1973 oil crisis, converting various types of energy, such as wind and ocean into electricity. The most studied technologies regarding Ocean Energy Harvesting are wave energy converters (WEC). The WEC technology
gained great attention and the research community developed different devices, like Oscillating Water Columns (OWC). To be able to convert Ocean Energy to useful electrical energy all WEC possess a power take-off (PTO) system. In the case of OWC is the air turbine, and difficulties encountered are the complexity of the mechanical parts, susceptibility to corrosion, high costs, deploying and maintaining. Ocean Energy Harvesting using Dielectric Elastomers (DE) as PTO systems is a relatively new technology with great potential aiming to reduce the main drawbacks of classic technologies.

Silicone-based elastomers are the most studied class, due to their properties: high flexibility, low toxicity, resistance to weathering, good dielectric strength and operating on various temperatures (-120 to 200 ⁰C). The polar nature of the siloxane bond is a premise for good dielectric properties, but the methyl groups hinder the Si-O dipoles to approach one each other, thus they possess a low dielectric permittivity, which is still the main disadvantage along with tear strength. The main aim is to increase the conversion efficiency of silicone-based PTO by increasing the tear strength and the dielectric permittivity of silicone elastomers in an original approach which consists in obtaining new full polar/non-polar interpenetrated polymer networks (IPNs) mimicking at a molecular level the spider webs due to the versatile chemistry of silicones. The remarkable mechanical resistance of the spider web lies not only in the chemistry of the intertwined strands but also in its unique geometry, architecture adapted by the proposed polymeric networks.


Project: Multifunctional Spin Crossover Materials

Project: H2020-MSCA-RISE-2016, Cod proiect:734322
Responsible partner (ICMPP): Dr. Sergiu Shova
Duration: 2017-2021
Buget: 90000 Euro

This project deals with an exchange programme of seven research teams with the aim to establish and consolidate a network for the design of innovative multifunctional materials based upon iron(II) spin crossover complexes: their synthesis, magnetic and spectroscopic studies, investigations on their crystalline, liquid crystalline and morphological structures, pressure effects on spin crossover properties and, particularly, their implementation into pressure sensors. The synthetic part of this project aims to access novel types of crystalline and liquid crystalline spin crossover complexes, hybrid luminescent materials, photo-switchable liquid crystalline compounds, composites and nano- objects of original morphologies and transition characteristics. These switchable materials will become a matter of different experiments under pressure: magnetic and MÓ§ssbauer measurements under hydrostatic pressure and optical experiments in a gas pressure cell. This will allow to reach an important impact on the synthesis of new bistable materials, on their behaviour under pressure, and to make them an active part of different pressure sensors. The academic participants involved in this work have collaborated on joint projects and have co-authored several scientific papers. The two industrial institutions have a recognized expertise in organic and material synthesis, commercialization, as well possessing experience on elaboration of spin transition materials. The establishment of this joint exchange programme will promote and strengthen the complementarity of the participants and will stimulate cross-fertilization, thus forming an excellent centre of synergy in research, innovation and technology in the area of functional materials. This network offers a complete training in the synthesis and characterization of new spin crossover materials for various applications.


Project: Synthesis and study of polymeric metallosiloxanes - new materials of interest for catalysis and nanosciences

Project: POS CCE-A2-O2.1.2-2009-2, Contract 129/2010
Project Manager : Dr. Maria Cazacu
Duration: 2010-2013
Buget: 6000000 Lei


General objective: Creating a core of high scientific level competent researchers in metallopolymers field, both in terms of human resource and infrastructure. To achieve this objective, a high-level international expert well-known in the field of coordinative chemistry and physical research methods will transfer his competencies to a host group of researchers with concerns and remarkable results in the field of polymers, namely silicone polymers. This group is part of one of the top research institutes in Romania, well known internationally.

Specific objectives:

1. Implementing within the project team the knowledge regarding metallopolymers (principles and methods of preparation, spectral and structural characterization);
2. Developing the necessary infrastructure for the field which will be approached; 
3. Developing new metal polymers using silicones as a polymeric support;
4. Identifying the potential applications for the prepared material; 
5. Contribution to the formation of human resources in the research area of this project ; 
6. Increasing the knowledge in a niche interdisciplinary field; 
7. Increasing group visibility by publishing papers in journals with high scientific impact.

Project: New mechanisms and concepts for exploiting electroactive Polymers for Wave Energy, Conversion

Project: Call ID: FP7-ENERGY-2012-1-2STAGE ENERGY.2012.10.2.1: FUTURE EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES, Project nr. 309139
Acronym: PolyWEC
Responsible partner (ICMPP):Dr. Maria Cazacu
Duration: 2012-2017
Buget: X Lei

PolyWEC aims at generating new knowledge in different fields of science and with specific scientific objectives developing: -novel concepts and methodologies for wave energy harvesting through transducers based on Dielectric Elastomers (DEs) materials; -novel fully-coupled electro-hyperelastic-hydrodynamic models for polymeric Wave Energy Converters (WECs) design, numerical simulation and control;- novel techno-economical models for assessing the economic potential of DE-based WECs in given wave-climates, as well as for evaluating their energy-carbon sustainability; -novel algorithms for DE-based WECs control; -novel concepts and methodologies for the development of DE materials and transducers for wave energy harvesting.

In addition PolyWEC will address the following technological challenges: -the development and experimental validation of innovative small-scale DE-based WECs; -development and experimental validation of new kinds of DEs for wave energy harvesting; -development and experimental validation of new types of transducers for wave energy harvesting; -the definition of guidelines for designing DEs and transducers for energy harvesting applications; -the definition of guidelines for the design and operation of DE-based WECs in specific wave-climates.

Project: Energy harvesting by dielectric elastomer generators

Project: Romanian-Swiss Research Programme (RSRP) Joint research project Romania-Switzerland (RSRP) (Programul din PNII in Romania : Idei), NR: 10 / RO-CH/RSRP/01.01.2013
Acronym: RSRP
Responsible partner (ICMPP): Dr. Carmen Racles
Duration: 2013-2015
Buget: X Lei

The search for new reliable green sources of energy increased significantly in the last years. Nature offers a number of sources of “unlimited” energy, ocean wave’s energy being one of them. Dielectric elastomer generators are a relatively new technology that can convert mechanical energy (e.g. wave energy) into more useful electrical energy. It is the aim of this project to develop new materials for Dielectric elastomer generators. New silicone based elastomeric materials with increased permittivity, low dielectric losses, low conductivity, and good mechanical properties will be prepared. In order to increase permittivity, polar groups will be attached to the silicone chains. Copolymers containing different amounts of dipoles at random position on the chain as well as copolymers where the position of the dipole is precisely controlled will be made. The newly prepared materials will be investigated regarding their mechanical and electrical properties as well as regarding their feasibility to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. At the end of the project, not only should a good material for dielectric elastomer generators be achieved but also the understanding on structure property relationship would be greatly improved.

© 2024   "Petru Poni" Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, Iasi